September 2023 Business Finance Assignment
In your Week 1 Discussion you described how business information systems have been applied in an organization with which you are familiar. Read through your colleagues’ posts and by Day 3 (Week 2), respond to two of your colleagues in one or more of the following ways:
- Examine how the business information systems described by your colleague could be or are being used by your organization. Offer additional ways either organization might take advantage of these systems.
- Examine how the business information systems identified by your colleague would affect your professional or personal practices or your organization. What opportunities might there be?
- Share your insights about the business information systems identified by your colleague, and offer additional ideas about the impact they might have and challenges that could occur.
- Expand upon the role of the business information systems presented by your colleague and offer other opportunities, solutions, or implications that your colleague may not have shared.
- Explore other ways in which the technologies shared by your colleague could be used.
General Guidance: Your Discussion responses, will each typically be 3-4 paragraphs in length as a general expectation/estimate. Refer to the rubric for the Week 1 Discussion for grading elements and criteria. Your Instructor will use the rubric to assess your work.
In my organization we use a lot of business systems to track clients and keep up to date with their needs. A supply chain management system keeps companies profitable and productive by providing an agile way to evolve and seize market opportunities (Vickery, Droge, Setia, & Sambamurthy, 2010). Another business system that is used is a customer relationship management system. The use of a customer relationship system allows for customized communication with clients based upon their needs (Jafari Navimipour, & Soltani, 2016).
Supply chain management is used in a variety of ways. From a marketing perspective, we use this to keep up with our evolving industry. Insurance is never stagnant and must be able to change quickly based upon market conditions and risks. This process allows us to communicate quickly with our underwriting team in different locations to resolve the need for new products as our market changes. From a client perspective, the common consumer today thrives on getting what they want, quickly, and this technology allows that to happen. The delays that were previously experienced from mail time and telephone conversations have been replaced with electronic applications and e-mail correspondence to resolve questions. “We define agility as rapid responsiveness to the needs and wants of customers and potential customers.” (Vickery, Droge, Setia, & Sambamurthy, 2010). Our survival in our industry depends on this technology to keep clients satisfied with our quick responses to their needs, without it the customer moves on to another insurance company. A potential issue that can be encountered if not careful is the disclosing of personal information to outside sources. Since we have access to sensitive client identity information we have a need to be constantly vigilant about keeping that information secure. Sending applications through electronic form has the potential to be dangerous of our security system is not up to date. We have seen through the evolution of implementing electronic systems the dangers in what can happen if sensitive data is compromised. As a result, our organization and ones like it, have developed a system of notification and damage control should a breach of security occur.
A well utilized customer relationship system is key to our success at keeping clients informed and satisfied as well. As new products or changes to current contracts are implemented we need a way to notify customers of this. One way, is to have a customer relationship system for each client in our database. Our current system is set up with key markers that allow us to notate a file to quickly recognize key facts about the household and their needs. The markers can be updated as needed by any team member and that allows us to keep up to date with clients and be aware of what they have been advised of and what they have not been advised of. This system allows us, as the insurer, to make sure we are doing our professional job at keeping our clients informed about what would be important to them. Clients are generally satisfied when you have the ability to suggest solutions to needs they were not aware they even had. Likewise, previous to this system we would encounter clients angry that they did not have the right coverage at the right time, or frustrated clients who would get offered the same products over and over, making every call feel like a sales pitch. Marketing through use of this system is valuable as well. We can run searches based upon the markers that are noted on files and create lists of clients based on specifications that contain a high propensity for certain products. We use those lists to create our mailers and solicit products in mass mailings. The concept of a customer management system for our industry allows us to remain competitive through meeting building relationships of trust with our clients (Jafari Navimipour, & Soltani, 2016).
The importance of knowing these systems inside and out from a management perspective is key in successfully leading your team to greatness. Business systems allow the daily operations of an organization to run smoothly. Some of the benefits of the systems are saving time and money through heightened efficiency (Pozin, 2013). Technology allows for quicker communication and opportunities for things like education that may have been out of reach previously (Ramey, 2012). A manager needs to understand these facts to utilize them. By understanding the opportunities that are afforded by the advances in technology, a manager can convey the benefit to the team members, allowing them to embrace all that technology can do for them as well. By having a manager who understands the systems and the importance they can train the team to understand the systems as well. After all, technology does nothing for you if you do not know how to properly use it to its fullest potential.
Business information systems are vital for the support of business functions. Information technology is of such importance that Drnevich and Croson count it twice in terms of organizational value; for its value as a concrete asset and the value it provides for the business as a whole through increased functionality and integration (2013). In my own organization information technology is essential to our business structure as it currently exists, and without it we would likely would not be able to compete in our sector.
My own organization is a small one, consisting of five full time professional therapists who provide services for our clients and myself, a full time administrative worker. In the year previous the organization consisted of a single therapist and a part time administrative worker. The growth from one to five therapists necessitated the implementation of several business information systems in order to keep up with the administrative functions required for a successful business. This is not uncommon, as can be seen in Olson and Staley’s case study of a small manufacturing firm; when the volume of work increases information technologies become vital to be able to keep up with an exponentially growing administrative burden (2012). In the case of our organization that came in the form of CareCloud software, an Electronic Health Record (EHR) technology that touches almost every aspect of our organization’s workflow. A second technology was recently added to act as an accounting information system which took the specific form of Quickbooks Online.
Research has indicated that implementing EHR technology can actually have an initial negative impact on provider productivity as they learn to use the new software and adapt to it; however even with this temporary reduction in productivity it can lead to better patient outcomes on the whole for clients (Meyerhoefer et al, 2016). Similarly in my own organization I have seen that the implementation of the CareCloud EHR software caused a period of lower provider productivity due to learning the new system, but it has done wonders for the administrative side of our organization. For just one example, before we relied on paper records to supplement our EHR, and providers would write their notes on paper forms to be eventually filed. Now we have moved to inputting our notes directly into CareCloud, which has removed the need to spend time filing, the need to store sensitive information on site, and improved our providers ability to write their notes as they can be typed instead of handwritten. However this did require a transitional period in which some of our providers insisted on handwriting notes and then having them scanned manually into the system. However as time has gone on more of our providers have realized the benefits of being able to input and store our EHR directly in the cloud. Another major benefit of the CareCloud software is that it makes it simple to check when a client’s next appointment is, how many appointments they have had before, what they have paid, whether their insurer has paid, and what the status of their claims are. Being able to do all that in one program has improved efficiency immensely, and has also improved our customer service as we are able to provide our clients with more accurate and complete information in a faster time frame then before.
QuickBooks Online has had a similar strong impact on our accounting. Using the program it is far easier to balance the register, and it automatically downloads transactions from our business bank account every day for review and categorization. It has made it much easier to keep track of our profits and loss, and improved our ability to file taxes timely and accurately.
Business information systems are vitally important; they are often the tools that make business possible at a competitive administrative cost. They ease stakeholders ability to perform business tasks, and they make it easier to keep track of vital information, such as client records, revenues and outlays, and a myriad of other information. Thus it is important for business managers to understand these system and their importance, so that they can be leveraged for maximum impact in terms of achieving organizational goals and directives. A system by itself is useless; it must be applied by managers and other stakeholders in such a way that it proves an asset, and not a liability.